Later this month, as Morven Park kick off its new CivicsNOW! program with the first of its Distinguished Voices in Civics Speaker Series events, the organization will present Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III with the first Governor Westmoreland Davis Civic Leadership Award.
The award is intended for someone who “demonstrates leadership in expanding effective civic participation among youth and adults,” according to a press release about the award.
The Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation Inc. protects, preserves and promotes the historic and cultural resources of Morven Park, according to the Morven Park website. Morven Park was the home of Westmoreland Davis, Virginia’s 55th governor.
Hatrick – who has been with the school system for 46 years and has served as superintendent for 22 years – announced earlier this year his plans to step down at the end of the current school year.
“School boards are built on the principle of representative democracy, and Dr. Hatrick has done an extraordinary job of building collaboration among the citizen members who volunteer their time to make decisions on substantial, and often-times contentious, issues,” said Morven Park Executive Director Frank Milligan. “Dr. Hatrick’s reputation as a champion for the students and his dedication to preparing the next generation of citizens are the reasons he is the first recipient of the Governor Westmoreland Davis Civic Leadership Award.”
The first Distinguished Voices event is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at Morven Park.
This year’s Distinguished Voices series features acclaimed civics activist Peter Levine, who recently published We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America, which has been called “a primer for anyone motivated to help revive our fragile civic life and restore citizens’ public role.”
Levine, professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University and director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, will present strategies that each of us can enlist to strengthen our roles as citizens. A book signing will follow. Proceeds for the books sales go to Morven Parks’ CivicsNOW! program.
Tickets, which cost $5 before Sept. 13 and $10 after, are available online at www.peterlevine.eventbrite.com.
The CivicsNOW! program also includes a partnership with Loudoun County Public Schools to augment the eighth-grade civics curriculum and encourage students to participate in service learning projects, and an initiative called The Kitchen Table, which provides students and adults the tools they need to address controversial issues thoughtfully and respectfully.
Morven Park preserves and advances the ideals of Gov. Westmoreland Davis, including civic responsibility, sustainable agriculture and enhancement of life in rural Virginia.
Its educational and recreational programming utilizes the site’s 1,000 acres of woodlands, pastures and open space, as well as three museums and a sports/equestrian facility in the complex. The nonprofit Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation receives no operating support from federal, state, or local governments.